On Monday, Sep. 28, a Capistrano Beach woman with a previous conviction for driving under the influence was found guilty of DUI, murdering an elderly woman and injuring her grandson in a 2013 hit-and-run crash.
The DUI defendant, K. Michele Wolfe, 46, was convicted of one felony count each for: DUI causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or greater, and murder, according to a news release issued by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Grandmother Killed While Watching 4th of July Fireworks
The hit-and-run crash occurred on July 4, 2013 at around 8:30 p.m. on El Camino Real in San Clemente.
M. Demchuk, 76, was standing in the gutter to watch fireworks. She was accompanied by her 13-year-old grandson, who was on the curb. The pair were watching a small fireworks display when they were struck by a van that was driven by Wolfe.
The grandmother died as a result of her injuries, and her grandson suffered abrasions to his mouth, face, and legs.
According to the DA’s office, Wolfe fled the scene of the accident without stopping and rendering aid. The authorities tracked her down and found her at home, which is where she was arrested two hours after the accident.
Wolfe’s BAC Was Through the Roof
At the time of Wolfe’s arrest, her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was through the roof, registering at .31 percent, according to prosecutors. In California, the legal limit is .08 percent.
This wasn’t Wolfe’s first DUI; she was previously convicted of DUI in Nevada in 1995. In that case, she attended a Victim Impact Panel and a DUI class, according to the release.
In 2008, She Received a ‘Watson Advisement’
When Wolfe renewed her California driver’s license in 2008, she received a “Watson advisement,” advising her that she would be charged with murder if she killed another person while driving under the influence, KTLA 5 reported.
Wolfe faces 18 years to life in prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.